Arial, Times New Ro­man ... and now the 'Hugo Chavez'

The late Venezue­lan leader’s dis­tinc­tive scrawl has been dig­i­tal­ized by a group of anti-im­pe­ri­al­ists to pay trib­ute to the for­mer pres­i­dent. The new font is avail­able for free on the group’s web­site for his fol­low­ers to use “The ty­pog­ra­phy of the gi­ant!”.

Outlook - - SHORT STORY - By Diego Ore

Sup­port­ers of Venezuela's late so­cial­ist leader Hugo Chavez have un­veiled yet an­other novel way of keep­ing his mem­ory alive - a font for typ­ing in "El Co­man­dante's" hand­writ­ing style.

The dis­tinc­tive 'ChavezPro' font was launched by a group of young "anti-im­pe­ri­al­ists" to co­in­cide with na­tion­wide com­mem­o­ra­tions of the 60th an­niver­sary of his birth.

Chavez's bold scrawl be­came fa­mous to Venezue­lans as he used to spend hours on na­tional TV writ­ing and draw­ing on boards and pa­pers to ex­plain poli­cies, de­velop ideas and sign deals.

His sig­na­ture, in red for so­cial­ist, adorns T-shirts, base­ball caps and the walls of build­ings around the na­tion.

The new font can be down­loaded for free from the "Cre­ative Trench" group's web­site www.trincher­acre­ativa.com.

They used letters writ­ten by Chavez while he was in jail for a failed 1992 coup at­tempt to dig­i­tal­ize his hand­writ­ing.

"The best present!" en­thused one 'Chav­ista' via Twit­ter. "The ty­pog­ra­phy of the gi­ant!"

Gov­ern­ment op­po­nents roll their eyes at the de­ifi­ca­tion of Chavez, and his ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence in public life. They see it as a cover for the fail­ings of his suc­ces­sor Ni­co­las Maduro who was elected af­ter Chavez died of can­cer last year.

MADURO: BIRD BRINGS CHAVEZ MES­SAGE

Images of Chavez's eyes, face and clenched fist are sten­ciled and re­pro­duced all over Venezuela. Record­ings of his voice also thun­der out at gov­ern­ment ral­lies, singing the na­tional an­them or ex­hort­ing the peo­ple: "You are all Chavez!"

Fire­works at mid­night marked the be­gin­ning of com­mem­o­ra­tions be­ing led by Maduro with some for­eign lead­ers in tow prior to a sum­mit of South Amer­i­can bloc Mer­co­sur.

Later, Maduro led a cer­e­mony at Chavez's ru­ral home­town of Sa­baneta in the Venezue­lan "llanos" or plains where he was born.

Maduro, who was widely mocked by foes last year for claim­ing to have seen Chavez's spirit in a bird, said he had re­ceived an­other ap­pari­tion in late last month.

"A lit­tle bird ap­proached me again," he told rel­a­tives of Chavez and of­fi­cials at the event, im­i­tat­ing a bird whis­tle. "The lit­tle bird said 'El Co­man­dante' was happy, full of the love and loy­alty of his peo­ple. He must be proud, happy."

Maduro and oth­ers sang happy birth­day to the de­ceased Chavez around a large cake. Some sup­port­ers wiped away tears.

At the week­end, Venezuela's rul­ing So­cial­ist Party held a first congress with­out Chavez, nam­ing him their "eter­nal leader" while also vot­ing Maduro as new party pres­i­dent.

Late Venezue­lan Pres­i­dent Hugo Chavez writes a mes­sage af­ter sign­ing his sup­port for a pro­posal to change the con­sti­tu­tion in Cara­cas on De­cem­ber 11, 2008.

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